Double Pivot?

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Post by alexjanosik Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:57 pm

I have resigned myself to the fact that we are not going to press like we used to.Just not possible with Messi in the team.And since we are not selling Messi,pressing is out the window.
So how to do we defend effectively then?
There are 2 ways to defend,defending by pressing from the front or defending in numbers.Since defending by pressing is ruled out,that leaves us with defending in numbers.
I think we have all realized that a midfield of Xavi,Iniesta,Busquets isnt good enough defensively if we dont press.Its very unathletic and leaves Busquets with too much to do and too much space to cover while the other team is on the counter.
The way we play,with 6,7 players in front of the ball,it leaves Busquets and the 2 CB's( not the fastest or the most athletic) with far too much to do on the counter.

The logical solution is to drop a player back from the 3 into a pivot.This leaves 4 players back on counters.
I have a suspicion that Masch has been retained to play a double pivot.Now some may say that with Rakitic, we dont need a pivot.That we can continue playing 3 and still be good defensively.But is he fast enough and athletic enough to get back consistently?I have my doubts.

Now I hate the pivot.But I dont see any other options with the personnel we have at the back and in midfield and the way we play(no pressing plus both fullbacks advanced).

What should we do?Should we switch to a pivot?If yes who should we get to play alongside Busquets and who would play in the front of the 2?

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Post by futbol Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:39 pm

Would be surprised if Lucho intended to change to a double pivot permanently. Not only would Iniesta be surplus, buying Rakitic wouldn't make any sense either. Rafinha wouldn't fit either. In our squad only Busquets is a pivot player. Possibly Mascherano if we assume that Lucho is really going to play him there but that would leave us with only Busquets who is capable with ball at feet in central midfield anyway compared to Busquets-Xavi-Iniesta now. Possession numbers would decrease to 50 % and below and Lucho said he wants 100 % if possible.

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Post by Donuts Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:06 pm

if we follow the rumors i have a feeling we will play a lot like argentina do

----------Neymar--------Higgy
------------------Messi
-------Iniesta----Buscuit----Rakitic
-Alba------New CB-----Pique------Alves(or new rb)
------------------MaTS

iniesta will have the di maria role, buscuit the mascherano role and rakitic in gago role..

would make sense considering we extended mascherano and are all of a sudden interested in a new 9.. mostly Argentinian 9's

would fit Sanchez also as our substitute, for chile his hotspot is mostly in the middle right
and rafinha could play messi/iniesta role

but it would require us to sell pedro, and our useless wingers (bojan/tello/cuenca) etc...
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Post by alexjanosik Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:42 am

But isnt that how we normally play anyway?
Messi nowadays plays like a 10,in between the lines in the place you have indicated.The 2 wide forwards shift a bit central,especially Alexis on the right.
Its not exactly the same but the way we play now is very similar to the formation you have posted.
Also my question,how to make us defensively stable playing that formation?It will still have the same problem.
With the way teams set up against us,fullbacks will advance and so will Iniesta and Rakitic.And this time whatever minimal cover our wide forwards used to provide also wont be there.
Would be very easy for teams to attack us through the wings on the counter.Just leaves Busquets with too much to do.How do we solve that?

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Post by The Franchise Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:56 am

Who plays deep in the pivot next to Busquets? I think it would be Rakitic. Despite his impressive performances for Sevilla I actually think he would be just as good if not better as a box to box player, a no. 8.

My problem is ahead of that. Where does Iniesta play? If Messi is a 10, does he play on the left? Neymar cannot play on the right, that was proven last season and it never made sense to begin with. Iniesta isnt very suited to the right either.

In the end, I feel its just as ill suited as the idea of pressing with Messi in a 433.

If your looking for a change of formation it would have to be relatively subtle, we will always be a tactical mess when you combine our current team with a Messi who doesnt do anything once the ball is turned over. I think the best we can hope for is Santos formation when Neymar was there. Messi playing the role of Ganso. Iniesta playing Elano's role.

More or less Donuts formation, but the role of Neymar and lets say Higuain is very specific and tactical. Their movement is quite important and different than we expect from 2 wide forwards in a 433.

When the ball is lost and Santos didnt press, Ganso was the laziest player, not coming back (so like Messi). Neymar put in efforts to get back in and the other striker (Ze Roberto or Borges) doing likewise.

Other course thats in South America where generally speaking its more tactical free and liberated.

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Post by alexjanosik Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:16 pm

I think the Spain game highlighted the problems perfectly of a Busquets,Iniesta,Xavi midfield when the team doesnt press.Just leaves Busquets with far too much to do and too much ground to cover.
Which is why I am questioning our 3 man midfield without pressing.
Granted Rakitic will defend better than Xavi but what happens in specific situations in the formation that donuts posted.

I am assuming that we will continue to play with advanced fullbacks.Our 2 forwards will be more central.
Suppose our RB loses the ball to the opponents LB.Assuming their winger is slightly advanced.Their LB passes quickly to the winger.
If Rakitic and Iniesta are also advanced,that leaves us very exposed.
Busquets is caught in a dilemna.Does he guard the center and any advancing players or does he go over to cover the winger.
Assuming that they have fast athletic players its a danegrous counter against the slow and unathletic combo of Busquets,Pique and the 3rd CB.

I feel that the formation donuts posted makes us even more vulnerable as the forwards are more central and wont be able to provide the fullback much protection.
In our current system,they provide some protection but when pushed inside how much protection will they provide?

As I said,in the absence of any pressing,defending effectively becomes a numbers game,especially with our unathletic players.
Which is why I am wondering whether to drop a player back.

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Post by Donuts Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:46 pm

well formations only say one side of the story, when we defend we do not stick to that certain formation
if we play ----Neymar-------Sanchez
----------------------Messi
I fully expect in a defensive transition that neymar and sanchez would go much wider to pressure the full backs.

also our defence is never going to improve until we have better individuals in the back..
Alba and alves in my opinion will not work together, it's possible but our formation would be 200% much better if we removed one of them for a abidal, a full back who can play centerback for when we get countered.
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Post by The Franchise Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:08 am

Its a fair point Alex and I agree. But as I said, I dont feel the double pivot is any better because we end doing the fundemental number 1 wrong find your supposed to do.

That is having a formation and fitting the players into it, rather than having players and molding a formation around them.

There is no way to me Iniesta should not start, he at times has been our best player and without question the best midfielder. When fit of course.

And with a double pivot plus Neymar, there is no position for him.

The truth of it is, Barca are tactically in ruins if Messi doesnt put in the required work rate. You cant create a formation which makes up for not working hard. Not if you still want to play the best players.
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Post by futbol Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:45 am

I wonder what happened to Messi. Some people say he never really worked much but I was recently watching a Clasico from Pep's last season and he almost got sent off putting tackles on Alonso. Nowadays he's sleepwalking all over the pitch, doesn't matter if Barca or Argentina (see recent game).

Having said that. We have bigger problems.

Alves has declined BADLY. He was about to get subbed off for Maicon last game. The way he got skinned multiple times 1 on 1 wasn't a pretty sight. And his offensive game has diminished. Don't care what alexjanosik or Franchise here say. I'm not blind. The guy is finished. Some glimpses of the old Dani aside like against Manchester City.

Puyol has been replaced by someone who isn't even a centerback.

Pique doesn't give a *bleep* anymore. Guy is a wreck. Even Bojan skinned him last season. Let alone actual quality players like Robben.

Abidal has been replaced by someone who has been a winger some 3 seasons ago. With the physique of a child.

34 year old Xavi doesn't have the legs of prime Xavi, doesn't defend like prime Xavi, doesn't dominate and exert control like prime Xavi.

If we can fix all of those "basics" first we can "finetune" Messi's pressing later.

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Post by Donuts Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:05 am

been saying it that alves has been finished, if we sell him and buy a right back that can play centerback.. our defensive problems would decrease 50%
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Post by alexjanosik Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:08 am

Fußball wrote:I wonder what happened to Messi. Some people say he never really worked much but I was recently watching a Clasico from Pep's last season and he almost got sent off putting tackles on Alonso. Nowadays he's sleepwalking all over the pitch, doesn't matter if Barca or Argentina (see recent game).

Having said that. We have bigger problems.

Alves has declined BADLY. He was about to get subbed off for Maicon last game. The way he got skinned multiple times 1 on 1 wasn't a pretty sight. And his offensive game has diminished. Don't care what alexjanosik or Franchise here say. I'm not blind. The guy is finished. Some glimpses of the old Dani aside like against Manchester City.

Puyol has been replaced by someone who isn't even a centerback.

Pique doesn't give a *bleep* anymore. Guy is a wreck. Even Bojan skinned him last season. Let alone actual quality players like Robben.

Abidal has been replaced by someone who has been a winger some 3 seasons ago. With the physique of a child.

34 year old Xavi doesn't have the legs of prime Xavi, doesn't defend like prime Xavi, doesn't dominate and exert control like prime Xavi.

If we can fix all of those "basics" first we can "finetune" Messi's pressing later.


Well its the chicken and egg problem isnt it?Which came first.
I strongly believe that Messi is our biggest liability right now,both in offense and defense;and not any specific players or lack thereof.
We are rumored to replace most of those players you mentioned so lets see who is right once the season starts.I am quite sure that we will continue to struggle irrespective of the players we get if Messi continues to be as static as he has been.
We go on and on about struggling versus organized sides.How the hell do we create against them when our central player barely moves 5 yards from his zone.We need movement and dynamism against PTB teams and not walking around.

Nothing will change even if get all the best players in the world.

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Post by The Franchise Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:23 am

My main problem with your comments Futbol?

The fact you consider Messi's workrate (or lack there of) as "fine turning" and separating it from "the basics".

The only reason we ever got away with what we did (smaller, physically weak players who lack athleticism) was a collective team effort from all 11. That to me is very much part of the basics.
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Post by Winter is Coming Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:46 am

Its something I would considering against teams who defend deep/park the bus. It could help us neutralize some of their counter attacks a little better.
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Post by alexjanosik Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:20 am

What do you think of the Van Gaal Dutch formation dani?
I found it interesting.
3 at the back.De Jon and Guzman in front.Janmat and Blind wide.
Sneijder in front and then the 2 forwards up top.But then Sneijder would advance and play almost like a false 9 with Van Persie and Robben either side.
What interested was that it is a very fluid formation able to seamlessly change shape.
In defense when the opponent would advance with the ball,Van Persie would drop to the right wing,Janmat would drop to RB and it would be 4 at the back.
It made me wistful of the Pep years when we would change shape even within stretches of the game.We had such tactical flexibility back then.
I wish we had a tactical genius like a Van Gaal or a Pep as coach.
Enrique doesnt strike me as a tactical genius.

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Post by The Franchise Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:52 pm

I spoke on it in the Dutch thread in that International/WC section, understandable if you havent seen it obviously.

Indeed, I really enjoy it and I think because of the profile of the back 3/5 (adaptable players who can play various positions) as you say it can change depending on what is required.

I feel like Bruno Martins Indi and Vrij really make the formation work because they have a great understanding of what the make it a back 3, 2 or even 1 depending on the movements and the abilities of the opponants they face. And with that Blind and Janmaat understand the same thing and therefore drop into the defence line or push up as the situation calls for it.

The leftside of Blind and Martins Indi is a stronger than the right side, but you can only admire the team never the less.

Yes, since Pep left that has been an obvious weak point. The adjustments during games or even game to game, there understanding of overloading in the right areas at the right time and generally always being at a tactical advantage.

I said it before, but at Pep's time I always felt very confident in us for two reasons. I felt that we were the best team tactically, we had the advantage in all games on a tactical level.

And if we didnt, then we have to play team on game of ability which at the time, we had the best players in the game and could match them for.

It wasnt a game of "who is better" because of our tactics, but even if it came down to who was better we would could still hold our own with anyone.

Now, we are most certainly not the best tactically. Miles from it. And we are struggling keeping up with the quality, especially in the back.
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Post by futbol Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:22 pm

I would accept:


Suarez
Nerman Messi Alexis
Mascherano Busquets
some clowns
MAtS

Obviously this would be the total opposite of how we've played so far. But damn that frontline would be sexy. I don't see which defense could cope with that.

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Post by Donuts Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:12 pm

I wouldn't pick neymar over iniesta
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Post by CBarca Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:03 pm

If it could be tweaked for Iniesta, but I don't see how it could be. Iniesta is the best midfielder in the world and arguably our best player (depending on how much Messi cares), I can't agree with a formation that would force him out back on the left. Then, if Iniesta is playing on the left, where does Neymar go?

The idea of playing with numbers at the back because we cannot press with Messi in the team is one I think is interesting- and even agree with- but we can't break our offense to accommodate it.
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Post by free_cat Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:10 pm

Now that we sold Cesc it's kinda pointless. And if that means playing Mascherano more pointless. And iniesta is not our second best player right now. He kinda sucked last season.
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Post by alexjanosik Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:37 pm

Its not pointless.
The point is that we become defensively stable.
How do you propose we do that with the way we play,advanced fullbacks and zero pressing.

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Post by alexjanosik Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:07 pm

I am really liking the idea of 3 at the back.The 3 plus Busquets would give us the necessary numbers at the back.
Looking more at the Van Gaal formation.Resigning myself to the fact that Meesi will be here next season,he can play the Sneijder role.That of the 10\false nine.Neymar and Sanchez the 2 forwards up top who will go wide and central seamlessly as the situation demands.
Alves right off the midfield 4,Busquets and Rakitic in midfield.We can maybe buy Blind to play that LWB\left midfield role.The thing that I like the most about the formation is that it is so very fluid and versatile.
Able to seamlessly adapt and change shape.

But there are 2 problems.Firstly we dont have the right players for a back 3.Assuming Pique plays center of the 3,who flanks him?
The 2 wide players in a back 3 need to be very mobile as they need to cover more space.Currently we have no one to do that.
We can play Alves right of Pique but then who plays that RWB\ right midfield role.And there is no one to play that left of Pique role.So that means we have to buy 2 flanking defenders and a LWB\left midfielder.Alba cant play it and Adriano is too injury prone.
The bigger problem is where to play Iniesta.A Busquets,Iniesta midfield is not defensively great and can get overrun especially with a defensively poor Messi in front.Playing him left midfield would be limiting him too much.

So even though the switch to the Van Gaal formation may make us theoretically more defensively stable,it comes with its own problems.

Ultimately no matter how hard we try to think on tactics and formations,the bottom line as dani so accurately mentioned is that-No formation will make up for a key player's lack of effort.

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